Wenatchee, WA, on Route 97, is filled with places to go and things to do. Hike, bike, swim, walk, explore, taste, dance, eat and drink your way through your Wenatchee adventure. Sporting events, arts and culture, antiquing, great shopping, camping, fishing, golfing, skiing and snowboarding are all here for you to enjoy. Wenatchee is the start/end point for three Route 97 road trips including: the Three Country Corridor, the Cascade Loop, and the Ice Age Floods Loop.
Wine Tasting at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce
My first stop in Wenatchee was the Chamber of Commerce on the corner of Wenatchee Avenue and Palouse in Historic downtown Wenatchee. We walked in, hopped up on a stool and were asked which wines we wanted to taste. Now that’s how I like to be greeted!
Jerri and her staff were a great source of information on where to go and things to do. (The Chamber office is also the Visitor Centre.) Tell them what you like and they’ll provide you with enough information and brochures to keep you busy the whole time you are there. They sent us to the Coast Wenatchee to sleep and they even found us the best place in town to get a mani-pedi!
Historic Downtown Wenatchee
When you think small town America, think downtown Wenatchee. These great old buildings give you a glimpse into the distant and not so distant past. It’s the kind of downtown where you can park and take a stroll and do some window shopping.
What’s Brewing Downtown
It’s not just the Chamber where you can taste what’s brewing in downtown Wenatchee. There’s Jones of Washington at the Pybus Market, and the Wine Thief is five minutes up the street from the Chamber with Stemilt Creek Winery next door to that. For breweries, there’s the Saddle Rock Pub and Brewery (between the Chamber and Stemilt) and Badger Mountain which is three minutes from the Visitor Centre.
Apple Capital Loop Trail
This is a great trail for those who just want to take it easy. You can walk or bike this 18 km (11 mi) mostly flat trail. Walking the entire trail would take quite a few hours. I was going to bike it, but the weather was hot and muggy, so a nice stroll over part of it appeared to be the better option.
You’ll see bikes, roller blades, wagons (kiddie wagons) skate boards, strollers and other modes of transport along the trail. You can tell the locals love it and use it often. The full loop crosses the Columbia River at the north and south ends of Wenatchee and it is lit until midnight on the west side. It’s a great way to explore the area and get some great views of the river.
Art for Art’s Sake
There are several places to enjoy art in Wenatchee, from studios and galleries to museums and cafes. They have a First Fridays Art Walk where they offer monthly self-guided tours of the Wenatchee art scene.
Then there’s Art on the Avenue, just outside the Pybus Market. There are 88 sculptures on the trail and throughout Wenatchee. It’s a great way to enjoy art and get some fresh air at the same time. There’s everything here from a big bronze foot to a bronze monkey on a skateboard to a humpback whale made of rebar and metal bits and pieces. As you walk along, right beside the river is a labyrinth created in the grass. Take a moment and walk your stress away.
One thing I found out about Wenatchee is that they love their music. You’ll find live music in many markets, cafes, wineries and vineyards, parks, arts centres and theatres around town. Check out the Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival, the Chamber Music Festival, and dozens more.
Food and Festivals
When you live in a bountiful land, it’s only natural that food and festivals would take center stage.
There are several great Mexican restaurants in town, and pretty much every other ethnic and Americana type food you could crave. In September they celebrate Fiesta Mexicanas where you can enjoy traditional Latin food, get some great entertainment and get cultural awareness about the history lifestyle and people of Mexico.
Later on in September is the Downtown Harvest Festival that celebrates the local harvest and the rich agricultural heritage of the region. Check it out for great food and award winning wines, and lots of great music.
Fishing is huge here, and it’s a natural pastime as Wenatchee is on the Columbia River. Wenatchee is surrounded by hundreds of lakes, streams and brooks You might even call it a fisherman’s paradise.
Fish the big river for salmon, find some quiet lakes for bass fishing, or hike up to some of the smaller rivers where you’ll find some great trout fishing.
And there’s more!
Yes, there is so much more to Wenatchee. I could write for days and days and not get it all in. Check out our calendar of events and see what’s happening during your visit.
This wonderful community has a little something for almost everyone in every season. For more information, go online to the Wenatchee website.